SHORT TAKES : 'Ultimate Scream Machine' Due

From Times Staff and wire service reports

Six Flags Magic Mountain has unveiled plans for what it calls "the ultimate scream machine"--the world's tallest, fastest looping steel roller coaster.

"It will dwarf any other roller coaster anywhere in height, size and speed," said Joseph Schillaci, the amusement park's president. The $8-million ride, called "The Viper," will spiral riders over a course carrying them upside down seven times, reach speeds of 70 m.p.h. and change elevation 16 times. It is scheduled to open next spring.

In 2 1/2 minutes, Viper will soar 188 feet above the ground, flip through three vertical loops, careen into a head-over-heels boomerang and twist into a 40-foot-high, 200-foot-long corkscrew configuration.

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